It’s been eight years since Airbnb was founded, and despite its relatively short life, has already managed to establish itself as a household name when it comes to making accommodation plans for your next trip away. As of this year, Airbnb has had over 60 million users, is active in 191 countries and boasts over 640,000 hosts. Stop, wait… I thought I came here to read about electric vehicles?
Yep, you’re right, you did and so I shall explain why Airbnb could have more to do with the future of electric vehicles than you might initially think. Picture Sweden and you may think it a generally eco-conscious country, which puts much focus on environmental issues. While this is all true, it has also surprisingly been unable to get people to buy into the idea of electric vehicles. One of the biggest obstacles to owning an electric car in Sweden is the lack of a good charging infrastructure, with a recent survey (conducted by Elbnb) suggesting that 51 percent of respondents were put off the idea of owning an electric car as a result.
Enter Elbnb, a new scheme being offered by Renault, which as the name may suggest, shares a very similar idea to that of Airbnb. Of course, instead of allowing people to let out their property for a holiday, it aims to allow people to offer their own personal charging points for others to use. Users can log onto the Elbnb website and pin their location on a map, which allows other users to then contact them to get help with charging up their electric vehicle.
After launching a mere four weeks ago, the Elbnb map now shows over 60 users throughout Sweden, which is quite astonishing given the scheme’s infancy. Renault spokesperson Lars Höglin said in a statement to The Local, “Environmental questions are a big topic in Sweden, so that’s also the reason why we did it in Sweden.” But he also hopes that the project can spread out into other countries, with perhaps Norway coming next.
We certainly think that Elbnb will be something to watch out for, and look forward to seeing many more users join in the near future!